Most often I don’t know if I am familiar with a band because I already have a record by them, I’ve dreamt of them or I just simply can’t remember if I’ve interviewed them. That’s the case with HEREM. The name is familiar but I don’t know if that is because of this interview or what. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-I wish we had some exciting origin story to tell about the name, but sadly we don’t. Our bass player nicked it from a bible he had lying around. If I recall correctly, Herem was the second name we ever considered and it stuck.

Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they coloured your music?
-For me I’d have to say Autopsy, Crowbar and Trouble. Hopefully listeners can hear echoes from these masters in our music. Black Sabbath obviously creeps in the background always, the devil’s interval.

When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-I believe you have to think more carefully about riffs if there are fewer them per song. if you have only a handful of riffs, they better be good, right 😉

How does your music work in a live environment?
-You’d have to ask our audience, but we think it works really well. I think that especially in III we have finally managed to capture our live performances energy and angst pretty well. We recorded all the drum, bass and rhythm guitar parts live when making the record. Hopefully we were able to capture the semi-chaotic energy between band members that brings that special mojo in our live shows.

How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
-I think it’s still a good thing that somebody like Inverse wants to put out records like ours out. It allows for the band to concentrate on making music and playing shows instead of having to hassle with the intricacies related with printing records, sending out promos and finding the right connections to promote your music in the media. Sure you can do all it by yourself, but finding the right contacts etc. is something best left for a label in our opinion. But like you said, you could pretty much do it all yourself nowadays, from recording to printing discs. Kudos for bands that have the skills to handle all that!

I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-From a fans perspective I think it’s great to have all this music available online. Then again, when there’s so much music out there, it’s easy for good stuff to get lost in all that shit that’s flooding the internet. Maybe a bit of magic has been lost when everything is so easily available. I think there a lot more one hit wonders these days instead of bands putting out consistent stuff. I think it just shows that since it’s so easy to put out music these days many bands don’t always take the time to properly polish their material before releasing it. This way bands might get a huge following for a couple of months based on one song and the fade a way just as suddenly when it turns out they have nothing to follow up with.

What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-A great front cover is the one that makes you pick out the record from a bin to check it out even if you have never heard of the band. And just by looking at the cover you can imagine, or sometimes hope, what the album will sound like. I remember spending hours staring at cool album covers while listening to the music as a kid. It was just something you did to get into the band. A cool cover meant that the guys in the band must be really cool and get lots of ladies 🙂

. Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-In my mind we’ve always been a bit of outsiders to any scene in Finland. I would like to believe that is because you cannot really categorize our music. Is it doom, death, sludge or what? But all the local bands we’ve played with have been really cool with us and I think the scene is actually quite diverse and the crowds are into many type of sound. This can create some very memorable and versatile gigs with the bands sounds ranging anywhere from dark psychedelia, death core, near noise, sludge, stoner, death metal and of course doom. Overall I think the scene is doing very well.

I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when your out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-I think the vinyl revival has made buying records cool again. I hope people who listen to this kind of music still want to buy physical copies, even if they do listen to it from Spotify. In Herem we all grew up listening to vinyl, so owning a copy was part of the whole thing. Our main thing is to get this music out there for people to hear, if they also want buy it, great. This might be obvious to most, but I’ll say it anyway: Buying a bands music is a great way to show appreciation and support to the band just like going to shows and buying T-shirts and stuff. Don’t get me wrong, we are not in this to make loads of money. But it sure feels good to have fans support you.

What does the future hold?
-We’re still not quite finished planning out 2017 so I’m going to have leave this as a mystery for right now. But I’m sure it will involve lots of crushing levels of soud pressure.
Thanks a lot for this interview, stay heavy!

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